REPORT | Wigan Athletic 0 Charlton 0

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Charlton signed off from 2017 by recording an excellent point at league leaders Wigan Athletic on Friday evening. 

In a hard-fought clash, the Addicks twice came close through Karlan Ahearne-Grant and at the other end a resilient defensive display – and a fantastic performance from goalkeeper Ben Amos – ensured that they recorded a clean sheet.

The result pushes Charlton back up to eighth in the Sky Bet League One table and just a point shy of the play-off places with a match in hand. 

In terms of team news, Karl Robinson made three changes to the XI that started at Southend United on Boxing Day.

Mark Marshall returned after recovering from a hamstring complaint and he was joined by skipper Johnnie Jackson and Harry Lennon, who began a match from the off for the first time since November 2016.

Ben Reeves, Anfernee Dijksteel and Ricky Holmes all dropped to the bench, the latter having passed a late fitness test, and it was the Addicks who almost carved out the first chance on six minutes. 

Naby Sarr brought the ball out of the back and, after skipping away from three Wigan challenges, he poked possession through to Ahearne-Grant and only the outstretched toe of Chey Dunkley prevented him from breaking clear on goal. 

Joe Aribo tumbled inside the box with 10 minutes played, after his faint penalty appeals were turned down by referee Trevor Kettle, the Latics then created their first opportunity.

Lee Evans whipped in a delicious cross from the right and Will Grigg met it with a header that bounced into the ground and over the crossbar. 

Jackson threw himself at a low Ahearne-Grant cross midway through the first period but a Latic block saw the ball roll to safety and five minutes before the break a lofted pass from the skipper almost freed the energetic Ahearne-Grant on the right. 

Chances had been at a premium in the first period but both sides would enjoy their best moments to-date before the half was out. 

First, Nick Powell fired a volley at goal that Amos gobbled up with relative ease before, at the other end, Jackson hooked the ball over the top for Ahearne-Grant who fired into the side netting from a good position. 

Home skipper Sam Morsy unleashed the first strike of the second half but Amos got down low to hold his effort. Charlton responded with a chance of their own on 53 minutes when Ahmed Kashi curled a 25-yard free-kick just over Christian Walton’s bar. 

The Addicks were frustrating their table-topping hosts and they came very close to breaking the deadlock on 64 minutes when Marshall put Ahearne-Grant in on goal. He rounded stopper Walton but defender Dan Burn got back onto his goal-line to hack the forward’s net-bound strike to safety. 

Powell nodded just wide for the hosts 60 seconds later and they came close again with 70 minutes gone. Grigg headed down to substitute Ivan Toney and after he failed to control the ball it fell for Michael Jacobs who cracked a first-time effort at goal that Amos parried away. 

Referee Kettle failed to penalise Toney for a blatant foul on Amos 12 minutes from time when he looked to claim a high ball into his box. It wriggled free but the hosts failed to make the most of the opportunity. 

Amos excelled himself three minutes later. Toney nodded into the path of Grigg but the Charlton stopper was out like lightening to bravely smother at the feet of the striker.  

The stopper held a downward header from Powell and, at the other end, Charlton then carved out a golden chance of their own. Kashi intercepted a pass and found Ahearne-Grant, he galloped half the length of the pitch and from a tight angle, whizzed a strike wide of goal. 

Wigan then came even closer to finding the net as the clock hit 90 and again it was goalkeeper Amos who kept them out. Morsy collected possession on the edge of the box, opened his body up and the stopper did superbly to flick his curling strike onto the inside of his post. 

And the Addicks held out for five more minutes to record an impressive clean sheet and point on the road against the league leaders. 

Wigan: Walton, Byrne, Elder, Morsy (c), Evans, Grigg, Massey (Toney 58), Jacobs (Hunt 85), Dunkley, Powell (Power 87), Burn.

Subs (not used): Sarkic, Perkins, Bruce, Roberts. 

Booked: Evans 88 (foul on Holmes), Byrne 90+2 (foul on Ahearne-Grant)

Charlton: Amos, Konsa, Sarr, Lennon (Dijksteel 76), Dasilva, Kashi, Jackson (c), Marshall (Holmes 72), Aribo, Magennis, Ahearne-Grant (Hackett-Fairchild 90+3).

Subs (not used): Phillips, Lapslie, Reeves, Dodoo. 

Booked: Marshall 14 (preventing a free-kick from being taken quickly), Kashi 45 (foul on Jacobs), Magennis 67 (time wasting), Sarr 90+3 (time wasting)

Referee: T Kettle.

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